Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Long weekend - family visits

This weekend past was a long one; Monday, 27th April 2015 was South Africa's 21st Freedom Day. 

Freedom Day (27 April) is a national public holiday in South Africa that serves to commemorate the country’s first democratic post-Apartheid elections, held in 1994. 

On Sunday Angus, Amanda and children walked over from next door to have a BBQ with us. While the men prepared the fire, meat and maize-meal porridge (Grant's secret recipe), we women soaked up the warmth in our sun-porch. Rina and I have embarked on another knitting project: her daughter, Melony, who teaches at a primary school in Welkom (a nearby town) asked us to knit finger-less gloves for the pupils. Apparently there are none for sale in their specific school color which is sky-blue and not navy blue like the other schools in the town. 

At first I found a pattern on Pinterest in which we had to use four DPN's (double-pointed needles). When I learnt to knit as a very young girl, I remember my mother showing me how to use DPN's which we called sock needles. We lived in a tropical country at the time and never wore socks or mittens so I can't remember, even my mum, who was an avid knitter, ever using these needles (apart from demonstrating their use to me!) 

Well, Rina and I cast on the required amount of stitches, divided onto three of the needles and started the pattern, using the fourth needle.  By the time we'd knitted in the round for the fourth time, we were hysterical with laughter. We'd dropped stitches and added stitches until we were quite confused.

I'd copied and pasted the pattern onto my Word document and printed one for Rina. My instructions I read from the screen. 
Grant asked to use my laptop to rip some CD's which his machine was incapable of. So I moved to the sofa to continue with the difficult task of knitting the gloves. When I needed to know the next row, I'd ask him to check.  He'd click on my documents, open the folder and read the pattern to me. By the end of the evening he said he'd be able to knit a pair of finger-less gloves as well! 

Rina and I completed one glove each and although they seemed quite "OK", we decided that the intensive labor was not worth the price we were charging. She phoned her daughter who said it has to be easy: she used to watch her husband's grandmother knit a pair in under two hours. We guffawed and wondered why she hadn't learned to knit them then?

A few minutes later I received a WA from Melony with a blog link with a pattern for easy finger-less gloves! I copied this very, very easy pattern onto my laptop. It consisted of only three separate rows of pattern which we memorized. AND it's knitted on two straight needles. 


To date we've each knitted four pairs. 

When Amanda arrived on Sunday and saw the industrious grannies, she asked for a pair of needles and spare wool. She wanted to knit herself a pair of these gloves. The only glitch is that although Amanda can knit scarves and blankets, she's never learned any other stitch than plain.  I quickly taught her the purl stitch and that the pattern starts with a double rib: two plain and two purl right across the rows.  I must admit that my own knitting lagged behind as I repeatedly fixed her errors until she got the hang of it! 
The knitting team has increased! 

When the weather warmed up, we migrated onto the patio with our knitting. I had my camera on hand to snap birds, crittters and the children.
Angus always gives the children a fun ride on Gran's bike
It's amazing how unafraid these children are of two-wheeled speed. Just look at the expression on Abby's face! 
My garden and patio are large enough for the kids to have great rides 
Joel clung to his dad like a little monkey while Abby leans into the bend as Dad zooms around the patio

On Monday, Rina's son, DIL and two grandchildren from Welkom popped over for a visit. She was very excited to see her family again. Of course, we prepared a BBQ ! 

Grant with Leon, Ruan, Megan and Marley

Rina and family relax in the sun

After the Young family left for home, Rina and I packed the dishwasher. It wasn't quite full so she said, don't start it yet: Angus and Amanda may pop over for afternoon tea... Sure enough, half an hour later, as the three of us sat on the patio, Abby and Joel appeared around the corner. Followed by their dad and mom pushing Liam in his pram. 
The littlest Hedges blowing bubbles and gurgling... too cute! 

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can visit here


  1. Oh All that knitting and no photograph of your hardwork! You seem to hae a very busy weekend with familyover but if all looks very enjoyable.

  2. HI dear Jo, looks like you are enjoying a lot of family time and practicing your knitting. It's great that you and Rina are always so industrious. I just love that about you and your South African friends. It also looks like the biking is super fun! Have a great week ahead my friend. xx

  3. Hi Jo. Sorry I haven't stopped around for a while and for the next two weeks its going to be the same. Been to Cape Town two weeks ago, Board meeting and AGM last week and off to East London on Sunday and on to Durban for Indaba which will see me away for a week. The dogs are starting to growl when they see me. Are you on Facebook? Would love to connect there is you are.

  4. Hello Jo, I think it is great you were all determined to knit those gloves..I am glad it worked out well in the end.. What a fun weekend with the family.. I love all the photos. The grand kids are all adorable.. Have a happy day!

  5. the kids look like they are having a blast on the bike. i would like to see a pair of the gloves on someones hand. i don't knit and have not seen mittens or gloves or finger-less mittens. looks like the weather was beautiful for your BBQ since you are all dressed for summer not winter.

  6. Was a busy weekend ! Especially with the grandchildren ! We can't even think of a barbecue, it's only 10° ! Tomorrow I am off to Claudie into the warmth of the South of France ! Will blog from there then.

  7. Just beautiful to read and see the awesome pics of a fun time with your loved ones. Simple things like that....are the best! God bless and protect you and your family sister Jo!

  8. It's quite an undertaking to knit fingerless gloves. Sure glad you found an easier pattern. The kids look so happy riding with Angus. You folks entertain a lot.


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